The Americans have advanced to the semi-finals following a big 4-1 victory over Canada Black on Thursday.

The Americans had no issue getting to this point in the tournament. Winning all three of their prior games, USA came in as the favourites heading into the quarter-finals. The Americans controlled puck possession for the better part of the first period, and their persistence paid off with the first goal of the game. 5:34 into the game, Max Jones used his trademark shot to beat Stuart Skinner over the glove, giving the Americans the 1-0 lead. It was the fourth goal for Jones, who has proven to be one of the top players in the tournament so far.

Canada’s late period penalty troubles would cost them. With Cliff Pu and Pascal Laberge in the box, Joey Anderson gave the Americans the 2-0 lead after scoring off an Adam Fox pass.

The Americans looked to have the third goal early in the second, but it appeared that Skinner had knocked the post off on the play and the goal was waved off. The Americans would build on that play, grabbing a few good scoring chances, but it would be Canada who would record the next goal. Despite being down a man, defenseman Jake Bean broke through a pair of American defenders before roofing the puck top corner, cutting the American lead to just one. Kailer Yamamoto would restore the two goal advantage for the boys in white, however, scoring a late one to make it 3-1 USA after two periods of action.

Skinner had to have quite the performance in order to keep his team alive in the game. Throughout the contest, the Americans had the much better scoring opportunities, but the Canadian goaltender stood tall. His best save of the game came on William Lockwood, who survived obstruction from a Canadian defender to get the shot on net. Skinner made the beautiful pad save, keeping the game close.

His strong play would find another flaw with 11 minutes to go in the game, however. This time, Anderson would get his second of the game, faking Bean before beating Skinner over the glove. The goal proved to be the final one, as Team USA skated to their fourth straight victory to advance to the next round.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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